Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review - Armored Victory 1945, Steven Zaloga

Armored Victory 1945 Steven Zaloga
US Army Tank Combat in the European Theater from the Battle of the Bulge to Germany’s Surrender
Stackpole Books, copyright 2012

At heart I am a fairly serious tank buff (from a modeling perspective) with my interest, primarily, centered on WWII US and German vehicles. This last week I had an opportunity to get three of Steven Zaloga’s more recent books on the US armored forces during WWII in Europe. The first to arrive was “Armored Victory 1945”. This is actually the second volume in a two volume set and just happened to be the first of the three books to arrive.

This is my first Zaloga book that was not published by Osprey. This is essentially a collection of photographs culled by Zaloga, mostly, from the WWII US Army Signal Corps photo collection. It is divided into chapters with a very short introduction at the beginning of each chapter. Each photograph has its own caption with quite a bit of information and often including the location and the unit that the vehicle belonged to. I know I have seen at least a third of these photographs in other publications but the rest were new to me and the caption information, even on photographs I have seen, is almost invaluable . The bulk of the photographs feature the numerous varieties of M4 Sherman tank, but almost all US armored vehicles appear on the pages. There are more photos here of the M24 Chaffee ( nicknamed the Pantherpup but GIs) and M26 Pershing (Designated the T26 at the time of their deployment) than I have seen anywhere else.

Pages feature 2 – 3 photographs with captions and if I had a criticism it would be here. When there are 3 photographs on a page they tend to be a little to small to make out all the details that interest me as a modeler. That’s about the worst thing I can say about this book. There is a huge variety of photographs, including plenty of examples of knocked (some still burning) US and German tanks. In fact if you are interested in modeling a knocked out vehicle this book as more pictures of destroyed Shermans, Panthers, Jagdpanzers, Hetzers and Jadgtigers than I have seen in a single collection.

If you are a WWII US Army armor buff then this is a must have for your collection. The list price is $44.95 but I think I paid about half that getting it through Amazon.

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